Is Absent-Mindedness Affecting Your Success?

Positive Thinking Tip: De-clutter your life and you’ll more easily recognize the subtle, inspired indicators that will lead you to success

A couple years ago, my husband and I took our seven children to a neighboring state for a read-a-thon. On the way home, we stopped half-way and stayed with my sister for a night to break up the trip. The next morning, in our rush to be on the road again, we gathered our blankets and pillows, said our goodbyes, and loaded the van. My husband was at the wheel and I glanced back to ask the kids, “We got everybody?”

Nobody indicated otherwise, so I said, “Great!”

We had just begun to roll down the road when I looked back again and noticed my 15-year old missing.

Oh, no, I thought, not Nathan! He’s the one we forgot last time!

So I exclaimed, “Hurry! Back up and I’ll run in before he realizes we almost forgot him again!”

Within a minute I was back inside the house.  Hearing Nathan upstairs, I exhaled a sigh of relief. Whew! He didn’t notice.

My sister’s husband had a questioning look on his face, so I just said quietly, “We forgot Nathan… don’t say anything.”

Soon after, Nathan opened the door so I hollered nonchalantly, “Nathan… time to go!”

He ran downstairs, said his goodbyes and we climbed in the van. Just as we were getting ready to pull away, someone in the back said, “Where’s Nicholas?”

We gasped.  How did we miss Nicholas?

So I asked, “Nathan, will you go find Nicholas?”

“Sure.” Nathan said, and then ran to the house.

Pretty soon, out came – not Nathan – but my brother-in-law. Standing there in his robe with his hands out and eyes wide, he gestured, “What the –?”

Chuckling, we watched him disappear back into the home. Then suddenly, he stepped into the doorway again with a look of utter disbelief, and three fingers held high.

What’s that supposed to mean? We wondered.

Just then, Nathan emerged from the house with Nicholas…

…AND Bethany.

Okay, in my defense, I will say that we were driving a 15 passenger van full of blankets, pillows, and backpacks. Most of the time, you can’t see everyone in their seats even when they ARE there. When you rely on one child to let you know that their buddy is missing, but that child is missing, too… well, you see what can happen.

Did you know you can leave three children behind and not even realize it?

I do now.

It reminded me of the family who stopped at a gas station during a long road trip, and then hours later realized that the mother had left her prescription glasses there. Regretfully, they had to turn around and go back for them, costing them in a lot of extra time and gas.  When they arrived, they discovered their son waiting, too.

This kind of absent mindedness can get really expensive in terms of time, resources, and most importantly, damaged relationships.

I my case, I thought we were ready to go, but I was wrong. The added clutter in the van, and my hastiness, distracted me from the indicators (empty seats) that would have told us exactly what we needed to do next (find our children), before driving away. Had we proceeded anyway, without fixing the immediate problem, it could have cost us in extra time, gas, and again, most importantly, potentially damaged relationships.

So how can we avoid absent-mindedness?  Maybe it’s just a matter of addressing the clutter. Too much clutter in life can distract us from subtle indicators that would clearly tell us exactly what we really need to do next on our journey to the desired goal.

What are you trying to accomplish?

  • Financial freedom?
  • Stronger family relationships?
  • Better health?
  • Peace of mind?
  • A sense of fulfillment?

It could be that there’s something critical you aren’t even thinking about… something urgent and important that you must do first.

If life’s clutter is keeping you from recognizing it, then there may come a day when you have to turn around and go all the way back to this place to fix what was neglected right now. There are subtle indicators ready to get your attention, but you may need to slow down and clear up some clutter before you’ll notice them.

So… what kind of “clutter” can become a distraction from the subtle indicators?

“Clutter” might include:

  • Too many unnecessary activities filling your day (life is short – be selective about how you spend your time!)
  • Too many unnecessary things laying around your home or office (things were created to be utilized, to benefit people – if you no longer benefit from possessing an object, transfer it to someone who will put it to use.)
  • Too many meaningless conversations (do your discussions center on the topic of things, other people, or uplifting ideas?)
  • Too many meaningless non-family relationships (is there a positive exchange of service, knowledge, or value taking place… or not?)

If you get caught up in the clutter and miss the subtle (but otherwise oh-so-obvious) indicators that something else is an urgent priority (like a child left behind), at some point you may have to go back and make things right before you can arrive at your desired destination with all the right parts and pieces in tact.

So this is my invitation to you: take inventory of your life. Where are you trying to go?

Do your activities, conversations, things, and non-family relationships, truly make the necessary contribution to your journey? Clear what you can, and then take a look around. You might find a gaping hole right under your nose that requires your immediate attention now. Address it now, and you’ll get to your destination successfully a whole lot faster.

(And, if you’ve ever lost track of a child as we have, don’t feel too bad… it even happened to some of the most famous and well-respected parents in history: Joseph and Mary, when Jesus was 12, two thousand years ago.)

To your success!

Leslie

PS. Be sure to check out the FTMF course. It will help you more than you realize.

“I just wanted to say THANK YOU!  I took your FTMF course and it changed my LIFE! I would not be where I am today without the guidance of someone helping me to learn how THINK correctly.  I feel like my world completely changed after I took your course.” – unsolicited email

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The "Inner Voice" Warning Before the Earthquake

Positive thinking tip: Trust your instinct. Listen to it and follow it. You are your own best adviser.

As described in The Jackrabbit Factor and more completely (and extensively) in Portal to Genius, we all have access to that little voice in our heart that nudges us in the right direction to to do exactly what needs to be done, and become all we were meant to become.

Some people call it a gut instinct thing, some people call it an inner voice, some call it the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God.  Whatever you want to call it, it’s there for you, as you strive to live correct principles, and if you listen carefully, patiently, and especially if you’re willing to follow it when it comes.

The more you listen and follow, the more it will show up for you. It can take some practice recognizing it and trusting it, but it’s worth the effort.

If you’re experiencing information overload, it will be difficult to identify the right things to do, because all the “noise” will crowd out your own best adviser: that inner voice.

Need help sifting through all the information you don’t have time for, but which feels too important to put aside? Read my previous post called: Too Much Information?

One leader named Richard G. Scott has taught that those quiet thoughts often come when you are the most still, the most peaceful; so it’s important to keep a notepad and a pen next to your bed – because when the ideas come, they come quickly, quietly, and are just as quickly forgotten if you don’t write them down.

Here’s the story of the missionaries who followed his advice and received a strong impression to prepare, about 2-3 weeks before they experienced the 8.8 earthquake in Chile on February 27, 2010:

CLICK HERE to read about the missionaries in the Earthquake

If you’ve ever had an experience where you were glad payed attention to your “gut instinct,” share it below – we’d love to hear about it!

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